It’s definitely been an interesting few months for many of us, personally, to some extent, I feel that having CF has allowed me to feel “calm” about COVID-19. My entire life I have had to be careful about germs and different ‘bugs’ that others around me may carry, something as simple as catching a cold from someone can be deadly for someone with Cystic Fibrosis. Hand washing, antibacterial gels and keeping my “distance” has always been a part of my everyday life. Those who live with CF are very failures with the fact we are not allowed to be within 6 feet of each other due to cross infection. This is where one CF person will carry a bug that another CF person may not, so if they mix with one another there is a high chance of these infections being given to one another and again, this can be deadly. Wearing a mask to hospital appointments is highly encouraged due to the germs that are around hospital’s and it is highly encouraged for us with CF to wear a mask if we are out and unwell due to our bodies being more susceptible to catching an infection. I was walking around the food shops just before COVID-19 came into full swing effect, I remember seeing a man sneeze and as he “AAACHHOO-ed” I sore the snot come out of his nose and mouth as he wiped with his sleeve and continued to put his hands on the handle bars of the trolley… it is something as simple as this that causes germs to travel fast. One of the main things I feel that has affected me is that every time I cough, which one of the key CF “trademarks” is, having a constant, chronic cough, it’s a bit different now.
Every time I cough, I find people are very quick to glare at me or look at me with concern. It has made me very self-conscious that’s for sure. Overall, COVID-19 has been eye opening to many, I feel that it has been a good way for the rest of the world to gain some understanding on what it is like to live with CF on a daily basis. It has been made very obvious how easy it is to pass infections on to one another. I am grateful there have been safe practices put in place, it is the simple things like washing your hands that help prevent the spread of infections, not just COVID-19. I always like to look on the positive side of things, too often we get caught up in the negative and find it hard to oversee the silver lining. We also seem to allow ourselves to worry over things we do not have control over, causing the fear of the unknown to become a bigger worry than necessary. COVID-19, whilst it is a global concern, we do not have control over it. What we do have is control of our actions. I have learnt to not let the fear of the unknown over power me and having CF is something that has helped bring me gain this coping mechanism, My advice for you all, be safe, do the right thing as it is the small things that can make a huge impact.